American Hardcore: A Training Playlist

I recently created a Spotify account in my never-ending quest to find new music. Specifically training music, the stuff that gets you amped up for high-intensity exercises. Maca Nitro and caffeine are the internal supplements, but the external is the soundtrack.

The music that inspires high-intensity work is high-energy and high-testosterone. If not fast-paced, it needs a lot of swagger. Hence so much rap. As much as I consider myself a guy with good taste in art, food and travel, there is no getting around my pop culture vice, which is that I listen to an unhealthy amount of gangsta rap. Rap rock and trap reggaeton too, it’s just for the training, I swear!

The problem is you can’t use the same songs forever. They need to take a break sometimes, so you need new music every once in a while. And given I don’t live in a city continent with a hip-hop radio station, I don’t have anywhere to go. So I created a Spotify account and perused their training playlists.

They all suck. One of them had The Weeknd singing. At best it was standard rap/metal/trap playlists, and at worst weak with techno electronic music and mumble rapping, shit you’d hear in a spinning class. If you have a training playlist on Spotify, I’m talking about you. Don’t forget your gloves bro, and say hi to Farruko.

Because it’s so hard to find a true hardcore playlist, I created one myself. It wasn’t American by design, I only realized while putting it together. I didn’t have to eliminate much from Europe, in fact only the weaker tracks on the list (Prodigy, Rammstein). If you hear Spanish don’t get it twisted, every artist here is American as apple pie.

Ladies, this playlist may not be for you. This is for strongmen, powerlifters and fighters. Turn up!

UPDATE: Here’s this Hardcore Training playlist on Spotify.


A lot of guys do Slayer or Megadeth when they train, but my personal preference needs a heavier percussion. So this more rhythmic tune is really the only song by Pantera that I like. But it’s at the top of this list.


Back in the 90s everybody was sleeping on the Midwest, except us of course. The entire album Adrenaline Rush, as the name implies, is a training playlist.

6 Million

Do or Die put Twista on the map with a few singles off this first album, which along with their second one would be a training playlist if it weren’t for half of their songs being sex music. Check out Ultimate Shutdown.

Bulls on Parade

Rage may be the only act on this list whose every album can be a training playlist. Not just their early stuff when they were hungry, but the whole catalog. So check out Guerrilla Radio.

Who We Be

One of the few rappers whose work is inspired by smoking crack. Back in the days of CDs, before burned CDS, you could just put DMX on and let it go. Where the Hood At will make the list.

Bring da Ruckus

Wu-Tang’s debut album is mostly a training playlist, but not much of what followed. Not weak per se, but not hard. See Release Yo Delf.

Can’t C Me


Just perfect for your big pulls, your snatch your cleans your deads … Chambea, JALA! The one that put Bad Bunny on the map was Tu No Vive Asi.

East Bay Gangster

Spice 1, probably the most forgotten gangsta rapper from the 90s, produced a wealth of training tracks. See D Boyz Got Love for Me from his third album, all of which can be a playlist.


Shut Up

Down with the Sickness

Disturbed’s Stupify is also on the list.

Made You Look Remix

Ain’t No Future in Yo Frontin

Tha Shiznit


Probably played out for Latinophile gringos but this song put reggaeton on the map for corn-fed white boys worldwide. DY is not just the king of reggaeton, he also produces his fair share of training music. Check out Rompe Remix.

Dem Boyz

Shut Em Down Remix

No Surrender

More Human than Human

Also Thunder Kiss 65.

Step into a World


Season of da Siccness

I’m With Stupid

Gangsta Remix

Of all the trap reggaetoners, I give Ñengo Flow the best odds for having his career interrupted by time in prison. His latest hot shit with Anuel AA, Yeezy.

Simian Drugs

Obscure old hit from almost 20 years ago. Hard as fuck.


Couldn’t have made a better video for the theme, fighting in sports.

Work Remix


Already featured Rage but this video gets a special distinction for its poorly-educated endorsement of the Shining Path. When I show this video to Peruvians, they sometimes stop listening to Rage altogether.

Know the Ledge

Life is Real

Normally a conscious rapper like Mos Def would have no place on this list. But being a good white guy I like everything he makes, and this song has that amp.

Like Whoa

Anda Sola

Don Omar also made Hasta Abajo, which works as a cue for heavy squats.


Simon Says

Still Tippin

Till I Collapse

Big Truck


Lil Jon deserves honorable mention on this post. Before he went mainstream he exclusively made fight music like Bia Bia.

Never Scared

Game Over

Ahora Es

Come Out and Play




Beautiful People


50’s debut album was good for training, above all What Up Gangsta.

On Fire


When Worlds Collide

Oh Boy

Also by the Dipset, S.A.N.T.A.N.A.

Still D.R.E.

Ain’t Worried About Nothin

Master of Puppets

OG Bobby Johnson



Jump Around

I didn’t want to, but I had to. So House of Pain is last.

Do you have a hardcore training track for me? I always need more. Share them in the comments, and thanks in advance!



  1. – Pastor Troy, No Mo Play in GA
    – Master P, Pockets Gone Stay Fat
    – Master P, Break Em Off Somethin
    – Three 6 Mafia, Gunclaps

    You’re welcome.


  2. @ James — glad you dig it. You’re not blind I haven’t put it up yet, but since you like it I’ll put it on the to-do list. Link coming soon.

    @ my good friend Chuck — how in the fuckin hell did I forget Break Em Off Something???


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